Aston Martin DB2/4 MKI 1953 – Fully documented history, matching numbers – Participation included for Le Mans Classic in July 2018 !

Sorry, too late !

In October 1953 was introduced the Aston Martin DB2/4 (for 4 seater) during the London Motor Show with the naming « family saloon ». Sold twice the price of a Jaguar XK140, it had to be irreproachable. Its body innovates with its rear door opening on the luggage compartment and it became the first hatchback car. Despite its level of equipment, the DB2/4 managed to reach a weight of barely 1200 kg thanks to a lightweight aluminium body. The DB2/4 took up the engine of the DB2 Vantage, a straight-6 Lagonda engine of 2.6 L producing 125 hp. The engine was designed and developed by W.O. Bentley in 1949 from a double shaft 2.5 L, the development of the engine in competition permitted to grow its cylinder capacity to 2.6 L and its improvements led the DB2 to a class victory and a global third place at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. The DB2/4 MkI was produced at only 565 exemplars before being replaced by the MkII in October 1955.

 

Our DB2/4 was delivered new on November 7th 1953 to Henry Page & Co Ltd, supplier of malt to the brewing industry in North London. This is the chassis LML/561, the 61st examplar to roll off the production line soon after its official introduction. Registered NYU 819, it was delivered with non-standard equipment including heavy duty Armstrong shock absorbers and a telescopic steering column, as attested by its factory document. Aston Martin records also show its visits to the factory during its first years of life. We learn that the car came back to the factory in the first month to be equipped with Alfin brake drums and a 3.0 L clutch. Thereafter it was slightly modified at the factory to enter the Alpine Rally, with a lighting changed for Continental requirements and a new back axle fitted. It went then back to the factory for its mechanical maintenance. The register from the Aston Martin Owners Club teaches us that in the 60s the car entered events from the Club but also concours events where it won half-a-dozen prizes.

In 1989 the car was imported to Auckland in New Zealand by its new owner who was none other than Peter Bruin, racing driver and ex race mechanic for Brabham and McLaren. He ran a garage specialized in preparing and restoring historic racing cars called Goodwood Engineering of Auckland. He also was a member of the Aston Martin Owners Club. He spent 20 years entirely and painstakingly restoring the car to the condition it is nowadays. Put to bare metal, its aluminium body #169 was restored then repainted to its original colour, a magnificent Sea Green. Its saddlery was fully restored in a beige Connolly leather, compliant with its factory document. The chassis and the running gear also benefited from such a meticulous treatment. Its engine still original number VB6E/50/1293 was entirely rebuilt. The restoration is fully documented with an impressive folder of invoices of parts most of which were imported from England, and with a folder of photos.

 

Regrettably, Peter Bruin could not enjoy it and the car was re-imported in England in 2009 after his death, with 28 miles on the clock since the restoration ended. Its mileage is tracked with MOT documents and the car is imported in France in 2013 with less than 400 miles on the odometer. It benefited from few modifications to get its FFSA historic technical passport in the GT competition class: long range lights, circuit breaker, extinguisher, tow strap, rain taillight and additional fan. It is also equipped with a very pleasant electric power steering. Its chromed bumpers are still available. The car entered Le Mans Classic in 2014 and 2016 with a French gentleman at its wheel and the ex-formula one Brazilian racer Nano Da Silva Ramos. The car was revised and maintained at a specialist since. The car shows now 2500 miles on the clock and is already registered for Le Mans Classic 2018. The car passed the hard selection step of the organizer and was successfully retained for the Grid 2. So the car will take the start of the race in July 2018 with its new owner! The DB2/4 has a remarkable manufacture quality, combining a Connolly leather saddlery with a wooden dashboard on which chromes are delicately affixed, with a sublime wooden steering wheel. Its mythical grille, its lovely wheels with chromed wires and central hub and its small lights underline its character. This refined car is intended for a gentleman racer who knows how to appreciate its finesse and elegance. Our DB2/4 will be delivered to him with its complete history, its Aston Martin Certificate of Origin, its appraisal value, its control technique, and of course its entry for Le Mans Classic on July 6th to 8th 2018. French papers.